Students at Discovery Canyon can’t exactly go into space, but for one week space has come to them.
For the past four years, DCC has brought in guests and scheduled events related to the space industry to show students potential careers in the field and get them interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Space week is to get students interested in science,” Terry Bramschreiber, assistant principal at DCC high school, said.
“And to get them interested in space,” added Christa Lundberg, eighth-grade science teacher and DCC math coordinator.
In years past, events took place over one day. Bramschreiber said the school decided to extend Space Day to Space Week to coincide with World Space Week.
In addition to activities that the students took part in during the day, there were also activities in the evening that the whole family could enjoy.
During the week, teachers in each grade level, K-12, incorporated space into their lesson plans.
Some of the activities students participated in during the day included a planetarium, demonstration of how a space suit works and videos from astronauts in space, space camp presentation, chemistry of rockets, civil air patrol, physics, visits from a flight-test engineer and an astronaut and presentations from the Antarctic project and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs robots.
Evening activities included an open house at the U.S. Space Foundation Discovery Center, a campus wide showing of Apollo 13 and a presentation by astronaut Jim Dutton on his space shuttle mission.
Educators Ron Bush and Tanna George from the Challenger Learning Center, located in Colorado Springs, brought a space suit for elementary students to try on and explained how each part of the suit worked. Students remained attentive and interested as Bush and George showed video clips from astronauts in space including how astronauts make a peanut butter and honey sandwich in space.
They talked to students about what happens to the body in space, how space affects the sense of smell and how astronauts stay healthy while in space.
“They use resistance to stay active,” Bush said as he told students that the astronauts can’t use weights while in space and showed them a resistance band that is used.
“They have to work out two hours a day to stay in shape,” Bush added.
Students were also shown a video of astronauts riding an exercise bike on the International Space Station.
Middle-school students learned about the chemistry of rockets from Ron Furstenau, a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Furstenau talked about liquid nitrogen and making rocket propellant and enlisted the help of students in a few experiments.
Lundberg said the staff at DCC was afraid they would have to cancel Space Week because of the government shutdown but they were able to proceed with the activities as planned.